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Pixel Plantation - A winning hand with shared storage

Pixel Plantation is a privately-owned, Los Angeles-based post production studio that has built its winning hand on long-standing relationships with key names in the entertainment world. Television’s top networks have relied on Pixel Plantation’s post-production expertise and project management, and Pixel’s team has consistently delivered projects that meet time-sensitive deadlines.

• Founded in 2004 in the media capital of the world - Burbank, California
• Experience, talent and creativity of some of the top editors in Los Angeles
• Clients include NBC, ABC, MTV, VH1, The Independent Film Channel, Cartoon Network, SoapNet, ABC Family, E! Entertainment Network, FOX, History Channel, Starz/Encore, TVLand, and many more

Gambling with local storage

Rick Greenwald, owner and chief editor at Pixel Plantation, built his post production studio on the foundation that working with award-winning clients meant delivering nothing short of award-winning service. That’s why E! selected Rick’s team for its enthralling “E! Hollywood Hold ‘Em” poker program. But, partway through the project, Rick and his editing staff encountered a significant editing roadblock: the amount of media required to transfer the show’s graphics during post production was sucking up all of their local storage – and fast.28_facilis-case-study-pixelplantation

I determined that the only way to transition these graphics without losing data was to re-digitize the files and run back and forth between editing rooms to safely transfer the graphics,” explained Greenwald. The “E! Hollywood Hold ’Em” graphics had to be divided, forcing Rick to work week-by-week out of different editing rooms in order to preserve the dwindling local storage. This process was not conducive to working on this - or any other - time sensitive projects, and Rick knew changes needed to be made.

“After many weeks of manually moving files, and upon the completion of the project, I immediately began researching cost-effective shared storage systems that enabled the integration of our legacy Avid systems and offered the scalability required to handle larger jobs,” said Greenwald. After reading various comments from other editors on an industry message board, Greenwald looked further at Facilis Technology’s TerraBlock, a fiber channel shared storage system that was surprisingly affordable.

28_facilis-case-study-pixelplantation2Greenwald then consulted industry peers and current TerraBlock users for feedback on the product’s flexibility and ease of implementation. “Secret Headquarters, another L.A.-based post production studio, verified the capabilities of the TerraBlock system, which included the shared storage we were looking for plus offering extra features such as mirroring and supplementary seats without any additional fees. That was something we could not find with any other provider. I immediately thought: if this product does what it says it can, my gambling days are over.”

After corresponding with the Facilis Technology team, Greenwald became convinced. “It was a no-brainer,”
added Greenwald. Hitting the Jackpot with TerraBlock Pixel Plantation moved forward with the decision to purchase the TerraBlock system after seeing it at NAB 2005. “We purchased the 7.2 terabyte system knowing that it could handle what we needed at the time, but also afforded us the capabilities to work in HD when the need arises. And the price point was such that no other company could match it.”

The stakes were raised: the newest assignment was NBC’s Average Joe 4: The Joes Strike Back. “The first project I used the TerraBlock from start to finish was Average Joe,” explained Greenwald. “I installed the TerraBlock in time to transfer all of the archived media for the entire season to replace updated graphics. Looking back, I wouldn't have had enough local storage to accommodate the project, so it was up and running just in time.”

The staff of Pixel Plantation is now able to manage their intense post-production schedule comprised of a lineup of programs, including the FOX TV hit series That 70’s Show, without a hitch. Administration of the TerraBlock is a snap, and Greenwald manages the entire facility from one workstation.

Today, Pixel Plantation’s throughput is stronger than ever, projects run more smoothly and editors can focus on creative work, rather than technology issues. “For us, there is no longer a worry about storage – the TerraBlock is a life saver!”

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